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Defense Helps ORU Hold Off Omaha in 8-6 Win

Defense Helps ORU Hold Off Omaha in 8-6 Win

The Basics
Score: Oral Roberts 8 – Omaha 6
Records: ORU (31-13, 18-5 SL) – Omaha (17-25, 10-13 SL)
Location: Ballpark at BoysTown – Omaha, Neb.

OMAHA, Neb. – The Oral Roberts baseball team jumped out to an early lead and held on for an 8-6 victory Saturday afternoon over Omaha in Summit League action at the Ballpark at BoysTown.

Back-to-back home runs from Derrian James and Matt Brandy started a five-run first inning for ORU as the Golden Eagles scored seven runs in the first three frames. James was one of four Golden Eagles to record multiple hits, while Brandy finished with a pair of RBI.

The bottom of the ORU lineup had seven of the 13 hits, led by Dean Wilson who went 3-for-3 with a run scored as Noah Cummings and Chase Stafford each went 2-for-4.

Starter Xavier Altamirano went 5.1 innings to get the win as he finished with five strikeouts before giving way to Jacob McDavid. McDavid earned his second save as he allowed just three hits over the final 3.2 innings while also getting four inning-ending double plays behind him.

Omaha was led by Cole Gruber who went 4-for-5 with a solo home run and three runs scored.

Turning Point
ORU scored five runs in the top of the first inning, but four-inning ending double plays helped the Golden Eagles stave off an Omaha rally.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts:  Dean Wilson paced ORU with three hits while Matt Whatley and Chase Stafford both had two RBI in the win.
Omaha: Cole Gruber went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and solo home run.  

 Inside the Box Score
- James and Brandy hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the first inning that put ORU up 2-0. It was the first time since April 8, 2012 when Jose Trevino and Jared Schlehuber went deep in consecutive at bats for the Golden Eagles.
- The Golden Eagles tied a season-high with four double plays turned. ORU also turned four double plays against South Dakota State on April 5.
- It was the 26th time this season the Golden Eagles recorded double digit hits.
- Xavier Altamirano recorded five strike outs in the win to move his team high total to 66.

Scoring Summary
- Derrian James put ORU on the scoreboard early with a solo home run in the top of the first inning. Matt Brandy followed James with back-to-back home runs for the first time since April 8, 2012 against Oakland.
- After a double by Anthony Sequeira, Rolando Martinez singled him home to put ORU up 3-0.
- Chase Stafford added to the ORU lead with a two out, two RBI single scoring Noah Cummings and Martinez.
- Cole Gruber put Omaha on the board in the bottom of the first inning with a solo blast to left field cutting the Golden Eagle lead to 3-1.
- Matt Whatley singled home Dean Wilson on a base hit to left field after Wilson reached on a single with two outs.
- Two batters later Brandy walked with the bases loaded to push the Golden Eagles' lead to 7-1.
- A single and a walk to Collin Leif and Alex Schultz started the Omaha third inning as both would score when an ORU throwing error on a Gruber bunt cut into the Golden Eagles lead.
- One batter later the Mavericks' Clayton Taylor drove a home run to right to score Gruber making it a 7-5 lead for ORU.
- Gruber scored his third run of the day and pulled the Mavericks within a run on a fielder's choice by Ryan Cate in the bottom of the fifth inning.
- The Golden Eagles got an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly from Matt Whatley to score Noah Cummings. The run by Cummings put ORU up 8-6.

Up Next
ORU goes for the sweep at Omaha and closes the series Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. first pitch from Boys Town Ballpark.

For the latest information on ORU baseball, follow @ORUBaseball on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com.

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